The newly-established Hounslow Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – Learning Disabilities offers assessment, intervention and advice for young people with learning disabilities and their carers.
As part of the service clinicians assess the young person to understand their need and determine what type of intervention is needed, such as behavioural plans, psychological therapy, medication or referral to another specialist.
Consultant Liz Fellow-Smith, who will be leading the CAMHS LD service, said: "It is the first time we have had a service like this in Hounslow. Up until now, local children had to go out of the borough both for assessment and for treatment which for many families was quite challenging. This service will give local children and their families much needed, easier access to specialist mental health services locally. This is important as children and young people with learning disabilities often experience complex problems where joint working with other local services and schools is helpful."
John Dunning, interim children’s commissioner at Hounslow Borough Council, added: "It’s great we now have this service available for our local young people and families. Children, young people and their families can now have access to experts who have a greater understanding of learning disability and mental health issues without travelling far to receive such access."
The launch of the service comes months before the Children and Families Act takes effect, which will give greater protection to vulnerable children.
Dr Vijay Parkash, head of Hounslow Council’s CAMHS service, concluded: "This is an exciting development for the trust which is a leading provider of mental health services in the area. This development is a testament to the quality of public systems working together in partnership to get the best outcomes for our communities."